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Suggested Format for writing an impactful letter of intent or personal statement

The letter of intent or personal statement is perhaps one of the most important components of your study permit application package- it may make or break your chances of a successful outcome.

Here are some guidelines to help you to compose an impactful letter of intent that works in your favour:


Paragraph 1: “Who are you?” and “What do you want to do?”

Tell the immigration officer about yourself. Include key information such as your:

  • Name

  • Highest level of education and institution from which same was obtained

  • Your primary course of study

  • The most recent institution you attended

  • Your work experience (if applicable)

  • Outline your current/short term career goal


Paragraph 2: “Why do you want to do it?”

Outline your motivation for choosing your program of study and Canada.

  • State why you wish to study in Canada instead of your home country.

  • State why you selected the educational institution (how the choice of program, curriculum and financial affordability etc. appeal to you)

  • State the reason for your interest in the program of study (state the name of the program, your motivation and genuine interest in applying for that program).

Paragraphs 3: “Why should you be allowed to study in Canada?”

Outline in a convincing but truthful manner why you should be afforded the opportunity to earn a Canadian tertiary education and how it will add value to your current career goals and home country.

  • Outline the value of pursuing higher education in Canada over other choices offered in your home country or other parts of the world.

  • How you intend to finance your course of study (evidence of sufficient funds to cover the 1st year’s tuition is required along with the application).

  • How your Canadian education and work experience will improve your career goals in your home country when you return at the end of your studies.

  • Reference how your current academic and work (paid or voluntary) experiences are aligned with the intended program of study.

    • If your prior work experience or academic qualifications are not aligned to your intended program of study, it is important to outline in an honest yet convincing manner the reason for the change of course and how it will add value to your future career goals.

  • Address study gaps: if you have been out of school for an extended period, outline what these gaps years were used to accomplish and why you have now decided to pursue further studies.

Paragraph 4: “Why have you selected your institution of choice?”

Outline the unique features of the program, campus life, accolades, location, history, student services etc. of the selected institution which appeal to you and why it is a suitable fit for you.

  • Highlight special skills and knowledge that will be acquired from your selected program of study and aspects of the course contents that would add value to your career objectives.


Paragraph 5: “What do you want to do in the future?”

Outline your long-term career goal(s) and a convincing closing statement about how you intend to apply your education in Canada to return to improve your career goals and contribute to nation building in your home country.

  • Do not reference any plans about staying in Canada. Focus instead about your plans to return home.

  • Provide insights on the future job prospects in your chosen field of study in your home country.

  • You may also mention organizations in your home country where you will be able to find employment opportunities (include possible positions and salary expectations) after completing your studies.

  • Also prove that you have strong ties to your home country to support your intent to return home.

Want to learn more about composing a letter of intent that will improve your success of securing your study permit? Be sure to check out our post on "Winning Tips to Writing a Letter of Intent to improve your study permit approval outcome".

Leave us a comment to let us know if you found this post useful and which new tips you have learnt from our post.

*Disclaimer: The information found on this site is for general information purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal or immigration advice.


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